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George C. Thompson

February 22, 1914 June 22, 2010
George C. Thompson
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Obituary for George C. Thompson

Thompson, George Charles, (Chuck)
George Thompson, 96, beloved husband, father, grandfather and "Grandpa Great" entered into the Eternal Light on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at the home of his son and daughter-in-law Greg and Diann Thompson. He lived a peaceful life and experienced a peaceful death. George was born in Manitowoc to Norman and Helen (Flenje) Thompson on February 22, 1914, within a stones throw of Lake Michigan. His father Norman was a Great Lakes sailor, thus the start of George[s love for boats and Lake Michigan.

After graduating from Lincoln High School in 1930, George was employed aboard the MS Daniel McCool, a cement carrier out of Manitowoc. This was his only employment on the McCool, as the great depression had already begun and there were no positions for beginners in 1931. He frequently told of his two outstanding memories aboard the McCool. One was of a squall that was so powerful the waves beat over the top of the pilot house. The other memorable story was that he was alone, a lad of sixteen, in the wheel house steering the boat for four hours. The rest of the crew was suffering food poisoning from contaminated clam chowder. After his stint aboard the McCool, George worked for four years in a grocery store and another four years at Rahr Malting Company.

George married Lucille Mary Svoboda on October 22, 1938, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Manitowoc. For the next several years he was employed at the Manitowoc Ship Yards during the submarine program. It was during that time that he became a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, a unit that patrolled the Manitowoc River, relieving the Navy men of the task. As a result, he was invited to board the coast guard vessel that escorted the completed submarines on test dives on Lake Michigan. During this time he earned a diploma from Utilities EngineeringSchool for refrigeration and air-conditioning. As a sales engineer for Stangel Hardware Company, he had numerous contacts with grocery stores. This grocery experience resulted in his final career.

In October of 1948, he moved his family to Oconto and purchased the Richter Grocery Store. The supermarket, Thompsons County Market, is still family owned and operated by Mark and Sue Thompson, and their sons Ken and Mike.

George, always a sailor at heart, was the captain of his family and steered a straight course through life, dedicated to Lucy and raising his children, leaving them with lessons of serving others. He was a faithful and loving husband and father. He will be missed by all who knew him.

George became a true "Board-Nerd" in his later years and enjoyed communicating with others via the Internet about Great Lakes lore, sharing photos and his own memories and stories about Lake Michigan where his story began. He had an article about the Great Lakes published in REMINISCE MAGAZINE 2006. George traveled frequently to the Soo Locks to enjoy the lake activity.

George was preceded in death by his wife Lucille on March 20, 2009, after a 70 year marriage that was blessed with seven children. He is survived by the seven children: Mark and Sue Thompson, Oconto; Lane and Doug Grabow, Bonita Springs, FL; Anne Harry, Suamico; Ellen and Bill Melendes, Suamico; John and Sharon Thompson, Oconto; Greg and Diann Thompson, Appleton; Laurie and Al Bolle, Green Bay. Also survived by grandchildren: Ken and Cindy Thompson, Mike and Wendy Thompson, Pam and Robert Gustafson, Paula and Jason Jansen, Julie and Dale Sisk, Barbara and Tim Nielsen, Kristina and Darren Klauser, Troy and Heidi Melendez, Scott and Amy Melendez, Mark and Charissa Melendez, Ona Melendez, Joey and Crissy Kumhala, Lea and John Nanney, Kim and Chad Gloudeman, Luke Bolle, Angela and Chris Konrad, Jesse Bolle, and great-grandchildren: Dana, Jack, Sam, Ava, Jessica, Kaitlan, Marlee, Clay, Benjamin, Emma, Calvin, Jordan, Katie, Emily, Timmy, Austen, Matthew, Devin, Tegan, Katie, Casey, Mitchell, Jaelyn, Nathaniel, Emma, Alex, Taylor. Kaitlin, Madison. George is also survived by two sisters and one brother: Grace Babich, Allene Yule, and Earl Thompson as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to his mother, father, and dearly beloved wife, he was preceded in death by his brother Clarence Thompson, sisters Helen Jacobs and Marion Landon and his son-in law John Harry.

The family will receive relative and friends at the Gallagher Funeral Home, Oconto, on Sunday, June 27 from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm with a prayer service at 7:00 pm by Deacon Walter Kaszynski. There will be visitation at Holy Trinity Catholic Church from 9:30 am to 10:30 am on Monday, June 28, preceding the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 am by the Rev. Patrick Beno. On line condolences may be expressed at

So live, and when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like a quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
Thanatopsis - William Cullen Bryant

4 PM to 8 PM at Gallagher Funeral Home & Cremation Service 217 Congress St. Oconto, WI 54153 on June 27, 2010 (map/driving directions)

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM at Holy Trinity Catholic Church 711 Park Ave. Oconto, WI 54153 on June 28, 2010 (map/driving directions)

7 PM Prayer service by Deacon Walter Kaszynski at Gallagher Funeral Home & Cremation Service 217 Congress St. Oconto, WI 54153 on June 27, 2010 (map/driving directions)

10:30 AM at Holy Trinity Catholic Church 711 Park Ave. Oconto, WI 54153 on June 28, 2010 (map/driving directions)

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